The voice types of a soprano

Often, in the presence of a soprano or a singer, we can hear the question: "what kind of soprano are you?". This is intended to indicate a curiosity tied to the vocal timbre, or more specificaly to the tone color, that can vary in each category.

This means that in addition to the denomination of the female voices (soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto) and male voices (countertenor, tenor, baritone, bass), each of them can also have within it many shades.

For example, the voice that is brighter, skilled in agility and virtuoso actions, is the coloratura soprano who is often identified for the ease of the acute and the not very large volume size, like the song of Olympia in Les Contes d' Hoffmann, also known as "the doll song".

Going "down" there is the light soprano, the typical soprano who has a reasonably bright tone color but does not perform sovracuti as the coloratura soprano, one example is Gilda in Rigoletto.

The lyric soprano instead has a tone color that starts to be warm and no longer as a "blade" but it has a more immersive and deep color, as the character of Mimi in La Bohème.

The spinto soprano can be recognized by a very large volume of a warm and intense voice, which is identified perfectly with the character of Tosca.



The dramatic soprano generally can be of old age, often confused with the mezzo soprano as the color is dark and sometimes those who possess this color has an "avalanche" of voice. Roles for this voice are Lady Macbeth and Abigaille.

But the dramatic soprano may also tend to agility and acutes, so it is also called "dramatic coloratura", as the famous arias of the Queen of the Night of the Magic Flute.

The Falcon soprano is a very particular type of soprano because it has the acute of the soprano and the low notes of the mezzo-soprano. It has a very dark timbre and usually sings spinto/ dramatic roles, but maybe she could, in later life, play mezzo-soprano roles.



 Summarizing we can classify them as follows:

- coloratura soprano

- light soprano

- lyric soprano

- spinto soprano

- dramatic soprano

- falcon soprano


These distinctions in the various voices, however, are not so strict, because a soprano can be between these vocal style and because in the end the voice is an expression of who we are and each person has their own characteristics.


Dario Medaglia